Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Celebration of Christmas (4 of 5)



4. Should Christians Have Holidays?

And now we come to the second point, where they say that in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, feast days are not mentioned, nor that Christians are to celebrate holidays, except the celebration of the "Lord's Supper".

First off, we want to mention that Holy Scripture is full of feasts to the Lord. The Lord Himself, in the Old and New Testament, established feasts, and through these feasts He sanctified time.

But let us start from the beginning:

The first feast mentioned in the New Testament is itself the holiday we are speaking about today, the Birth of our Lord. In the Gospel of Luke (2:6-14), the following is said (summarized in excerpts): "But the angel said to them [the shepherds], 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'" The angel therefore brings the joyful news to the shepherds, and even says that it is of "great joy". The joy is in the event of the Divine Incarnation. And indeed it is not only for them, but "for all the people", as the angel goes on to say. It goes on to even say that this joy is not only for the shepherds and the people, but for the angels as well. "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good pleasure.'" We therefore observe a joyful and festive event, celebrated by people and angels, with praises to God.

At this point, the so-called Jehovah's Witnesses through the Watchtower Society objected on December 15, 1991 (page 5) in Awake, saying: "Alas, if we celebrated every event for which the angels praised God! For the angels rejoiced when the earth was created. Should we thus celebrate the creation of the earth every year?"

The Christian response to this is as follows:

Indeed, for the Lord established the Sabbath day for Israel "as a day of rest from all His work", a day on which all of creation rejoiced for the fact that the Creator completed His creation. Christians have never ceased to honor this event. But how? On the day of re-creation, within the framework of the Resurrection of our Lord. All of the joy of the angels for creation, is included in the renewal of creation and the universe, which is the day of the Resurrection of the Lord. All of these things, the Resurrection and Creation, the recreation, the prospect of the future life, the Incarnation of our Lord, all these things are included at the gathering around the table of the Lord's Supper, or as we call it, the Eucharistic Gathering. This is the ultimate celebration. Especially in the Lord's Supper, which is a gathering of the Kingdom and the joy of the Kingdom, and it includes everything: the Birth of Christ, His journey to earth, His Death and Resurrection and Ascension, and the recreation.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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